Serious question: why is recycling so confusing?!

If you’re confused about how & what to recycle, you’re not alone. According to Forbes, 94% of Americans support recycling, but only 35% actually recycle. It’s no secret: the recycling system in the United States needs a massive transformation. But don’t worry—it’s not all doom & gloom. Until things change, we’re uplifting individuals trying to do the right thing, urging corporations to take responsibility for the products they create, and calling on state & local governments to make recycling easier. (Less single-use plastics, please!)

For Global Recycling Day (coming up on March 18th!), we’re getting curious and breaking down the cans and cannots of recycling to make things a little easier! 

  1. Paper / Cardboard: You can recycle newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes, paper mail, and even pizza boxes. Pro tip: make sure to remove any food scraps and flatten cardboard boxes before placing them in the bin. 

  2. Aluminum: Cans and even aluminum foil can be recycled! 

  3. Glass: Glass can be recycled over and over again. (Just make sure to keep broken glass out of your recycling bin, as glass shards can harm workers and damage equipment.) Most states let you mix glass with your general recycling, but you may need to take it to a specific recycling center. We also love reusing glass jars to store coffee beans, pasta, and homemade cleaning sprays.

  4. Numbered plastic: The numbers on your plastic have a meaning! It all varies by state, but plastic marked #5 can typically be recycled. The rigid parts of Stojo products (your cup’s heat sleeve, your bowl’s lid, your bottle’s cap) are made of #5 recyclable plastic. When designing our products, we chose to use #5 recyclable plastic because it’s rigid, heat resistant, and recyclable. 

  5. Plastic bags, wraps, and films: These plastics are recyclable, but cannot go in your general recycling bin. Head over to your local grocery store or retail stores like Target, who have special bins to recycle plastic bags.

  6. Batteries: These can leach toxic chemicals in landfills, so do not put them in the trash or recycling. Instead, you can start a “battery graveyard” in your home or office by placing dead batteries into a small box. When the box is full, find a drop off location near you through organizations like Call2Recycle. This organization partners with Lowe’s, Staples, and The Home Depot to make drop offs free & convenient.

  7. Brita filters: Brita takes back filters, pitchers, dispensers, and bottles, and recycles them for you by partnering with TerraCycle. Plus, a handful of participating Whole Foods stores will take your Brita filters for recycling!

  8. Contact lenses & blister packs: Contact lenses are known to clog drains, and those pesky daily blister packs are too small to recycle normally. To recycle your contact lens waste, find a local Terracycle drop off. Most local optometrist offices are getting on board with this recycling program!

  9. Reuse, reuse, reuse: We’re big fans of REUSING whenever we can. Swapping those disposable cups, bottles, takeout containers, bags, straws, etc. for reusables really adds up! All it takes is a thought, an action, a sustainable habit 💡 Who’s with us?! 🙋🏻‍♀️

Have any recycling pro tips? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email us to share.